Ranking EVERY Man United Player This SeasonGriffochaz
As the dust settles on a disappointing end to an acceptable season, it’s time to review the last 10 months and rank every Man United player this campaign. A quarter final, a semi final and a final partnered with second place can be digested anyway you want but the players are the ones that go out on the pitch and deliver these performances so let’s see where they rank among each other.
33) Phil Jones (0 Apps)
What is there to say about Philip Anthony Jones that hasn’t already been said. The 29-year-old, yes he is only 29, hasn’t stepped onto the football pitch since January 26th 2020 when he SCORED, no that isn’t a joke, against Tranmere Rovers. At least we aren’t paying up to £300k a week for him that would be ridiculous right? I’m sorry but Phil gets his own entry in this list just because of the pure meme which is “one of the best players United has ever had”. Rare miss from Sir Alex on that one.
32) Lee Grant, Marcus Rojo, Andreas Pereira, Sergio Romero, Facundo Pellistri, Nathan Bishop, James Garner, Joel Pereira, Tahith Chong, Teden Mengi, Chris Smalling (0 Apps)
And now for the entry where you go “Oh I forgot about them”. These 11 players haven’t played a single minute for Manchester United this season. Chris Smalling counts as we began the season with him still at the club before his move to Roma on the 5th October, Andreas Pereira, Facundo Pellistri, Joel Pereira, Tahith Chong, Tedan Mengi and James Garner have all been out on loan at clubs ranging from Huddersfield Town to Deportivo Alaves. Nathan Bishop is a youth player who hasn’t featured at all while Sergio Romero still has a missing person search ongoing. Marcus Rojo joined Boca Juniors in January without putting in a single performance for the season and Lee Grant’s biggest contribution is holding up a substitution board. This really is just a pointless entry but the article does say EVERY player.
31) Will Fish (1 App)
Clocking in a performance of less than a minute, Will Fish was never going to rank highly in this list but Ole got the ball rolling with the young defender’s career by bringing him on in added time of the final match of the Premier League season. I will confess I know next to nothing about Will Fish but with our current centre back situation, don’t be surprised if he features for more than a minute next season and answers the question we all want to know. How much Fish can Will Fish Fish if Will Fish Will Fish Fish?
30) Hannibal Mejbri (1 App)
If this list was titled ranking every Man United’s player’s haircuts then Hannibal would be easy Top 5 but unfortunately it is not. Totalling 8 minutes of playing time this season, Mejbri ranks in this position via default. The young French talent has generated many conversations in youth football and is definitely one for the future but his lack of game time this campaign solidifies him low in this list.
29) Diogo Dalot (1 App)
It’s been a long and unprecedented season so you would be forgiven to think Diogo Dalot hasn’t played for Man United but if you cast your minds back to September, he did. The Portuguese international put in a full 90-minute performance against Brighton in the EFL Cup, picking up a clean sheet in a 3-0 win. That was definitely his last game for United this season and it may well turn out to be his last in a Red Devil shirt as his AC Milan loan has turned a lot of heads around Europe.
28) Timothy Fosu-Mensah (3 Apps)
TFM played in three matches this season but unlucky enough for him it happened to be in the three of the worst performances this campaign. A 3-1 loss to Palace matched with European losses to Basaksehir and Leipzig isn’t the best combination of games and that is why the now Bayer Leverkusen player lands himself quite low on this list.
27) Odion Ighalo (4 Apps)
Odion Ighalo is just a nice human being, isn’t he? No one will forget the month after he joined where he was emulating R9 but unfortunately that is all he will be remembered for. This season his biggest matches were in the EFL Cup where he failed to score and has since returned to Saudi Arabia after a mixed loan spell at Old Trafford. Thanks for the short but lovely memories though Odion, at least you got to fulfil your dream which no one will ever take away from you.
26) Shola Shoretire (3 Apps)
Shola Shoretire cooked up a storm this season, unfortunately it wasn’t a storm on the pitch but instead a debate on how to pronounce the youngster’s name. Shola Sure-Ra-Tee-Ray is how you say it which might become useful when he gets into his stride next season. He is definitely a player for the future and has shown promise in his three appearances for the club. He also wins the award for youngest looking player at the club by a country mile. Shola looks like he’s just completed his SATS.
25) Jesse Lingard (3 Apps)
This one feels very harsh on Jesse but this is a Man United list and thus have to rank his time at United. Before his revolutionary loan spell at West Ham, Jesse put in two starting displays against Luton in the EFL and Watford in the FA Cup and his other game came in a 9-minute cameo against Brighton. His energy is often unmatched but his time this season in red isn’t something to be remembered fondly. However, he returns to Old Trafford a reborn man after a very successful loan spell at West Ham where he helped the London club reach European football. His United career may be coming to an end but there won’t be a single United fan that doesn’t wish him well wherever the Englishman ends up.
24) Brandon Williams (14 Apps)
Now it gets interesting and opinionated. Last season, Brandon Williams was a breakthrough talent for United who could rely on the youngster when needed, especially when Luke Shaw was injured. However, the lack of a loan spell for Brandon has had a dramatic impact on his football and the few games he has played hasn’t been all that promising. He is exposed on almost every attack and looks out of depth which would be a surprise had you told me that this time last year. I like Brandon but this season has proven to me he either needs a loan spell similar to the quality of Lingard’s or he needs to be moved on to a mid-table Premier League club where I’m sure he will thrive.
23) Anthony Elanga (2 Apps)
This is where I feel even more sorry for Brandon Williams because a player who has played two games ranks higher than him. Anthony Elanga falls into the same category as most other youngsters on this list but because of his beautiful header against Wolves, ranks higher on this list. What I have seen of him in his two appearance is high energy and commitment which is exactly what you want your young players to have. A loan spell next season is probably best for the Swede but he is already showing glimmers of talent in the short time he has had on the pitch.
22) Amad Diallo (8 Apps)
Amad was signed by Man United on the final day of the summer transfer window and later arrived in January and since then has shown why his price tag was a little inflated. His dynamic style of play works wonders with Man United and I would put good money on him being a top-class player in a few years time but right now he ranks low on this list just for the game time Ole has given him. His United highlight is undoubtedly that header against AC Milan in the Europa League, which we are still not talking about. Diallo feels like he is too good to go out on loan but the boy needs game time next season and if a spell away from the club is the only guarantee of that then that is what Solskjaer and the board should be looking at.
21) Juan Mata (18 Apps)
This one may anger a few. Juan Mata is hands down the nicest man on the planet and everyone should be very jealous of that but no one will be sat reading this thinking he is what he once was. Juan is a great player to have in the squad but this season has just fallen a little short of what we want from him. His age is unfortunately getting to him which is why he has only played 90 minutes twice this season. I would happily describe Juan as a great servant of the club but all good things must come to an end and Juan’s United career looks to be drawing to a close. Thank you Juan for your commitment over the years.
20) Axel Tuanzebe (19 Apps)
Axel Tuanzebe is one of those players who either plays like prime Paolo Maldini or a half injured Titus Bramble which you can imagine has made my job of ranking him on this list that much harder. His season highlight is when he put in a colossus 90 minute defensive masterclass against Neymar, Mbappe and PSG and has shown similar qualities in many games this season however the flip side of all that is he can also be easily exposed with United’s 3-3 draw against Everton being a great example where he came on to give away a free kick that Calvert Lewin subsequently netted from. Axel’s future is very hard to pinpoint but I for one is hoping the young English upstart is donning the red of Manchester for at least another year.
19) Eric Bailly (21 Apps)
Eric Bailly is another example of a half and half player and the problem is, you never know what Eric Bailly you are going to get. Sometimes he’s this unstoppable defender that causes twitter users like @UnitedBaillyBoy3 to profess that the Ivorian is the best centre back in the world, yes we haven’t forgotten about that month where Bailly was the second coming of Nemanja Vidic. Other times he is as rash as rash can be and his often-erratic behaviour can cost United dearly. His injury record can also rival the length of War and Peace which clearly is an annoying trait. Overall, this season, he has been useful but at the same time he has been a little too chaotic for my liking.
18) Nemanja Matic (36 Apps)
Let’s start this entry by saying Nemanja Matic is our best defensive midfielder and is similar to what United need in the summer window however similar to Juan Mata, his age is the problem. Matic can’t run a 90-minute game anymore and can’t play 2-3 games a week which is what United desperately need. When he has played this season, he has proven why people still like him as he does his job brilliantly. He is the embodiment of a CDM but I have a feeling United are more likely to build a time machine to go back to a prime Nemanja Matic rather than buying a suitable replacement, which is such of Glazernomics. Why do you have to age Nemanja?
17) Anthony Martial (36 Apps)
Anthony Martial has fallen into obscurity since his injury with many people forgetting he even exists, and it looks like the writing is on the wall for the Frenchman. Even before his injury, Martial was in the worst form of his career and was channelling his inner Timo Werner by missing massive chance after massive chance and that PSG miss still lives long in the memory of many fans. Let’s call a spade a spade here, Martial scores that chance, we progress in the Champions League. The only reason he ranks here is because of his hold up play and off the ball ability, which is useful for the team but individually speaking, he has had a very poor season.
16) Alex Telles (24 Apps)
You have to feel for Alex Telles. He came to this club on the promise of regular game time switching in and out with Luke Shaw however his signing has coincided with Shaw’s Roberto Carlos-esque upturn in form which has victimised Telles and has put OIe in a tough place. The Brazilian’s arrival could be the reason for Luke Shaw vast improvement but overall, Alex Telles himself has had a mixed season where we haven’t utilised his attacking threat as much as we should of. Next season is a big one for Telles and I hope he gets more gametime despite the quality of his left back counterpart.
15) Daniel James (26 Apps)
Every fan has that one player that they like and no one else does and Dan James’s is mine at United. The young Welshman is a very useful asset to have at the club whether you start or bring him on off the bench. His pace, energy and defensive ability is the best parts to his game but even as a massive fan of the winger, I am not blinded to say he shouldn’t’ be starting for United but squads win titles and I feel Dan James is a good squad player to have at the club and I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
14) Donny Van de Beek (36 Apps)
Donny has generated a lot of conversation this season but not for his on-field performances, and yes there has been some. There is no doubt that Donny is a great player but he is also a system player that works best in a specific style. Putting his lack of game time aside, Donny has had mixed performances this season which is understandable and next season will be a bigger indication of his United career but he ranks mid table purely for the lack of game time he has got. A rare victim of Ole’s man management.
13) Victor Lindelof (45 Apps)
Many of you are probably questioning why Victor Lindelof is as high on this list as he is to which the answer is simple gametime. He has been the main partner for Maguire this season which has caused problem after problem however he does have some good traits. His ball playing skill is a notable trait of Lindelof this season and his few assists have come from long punts up the field to the likes of Rashford and Cavani however Victor is a defender and he is a very limited player in that department. As a bench option, which hopefully he’ll be next season, he will be good but as a first teamer he puts United in danger too many times. The Europe League final loss could easily fall on the shoulders of the Swedish international after his so-called defending. Let’s hope his days of being a starting centre back for United are in the past and we can see a Varane or even a Pau Torres next to Maguire next campaign.
12) Fred (48 Apps)
Fred is probably the biggest opinion divider in the Man United camp and I am one of those fans that sits firmly on the proverbial fence. He is a good player at times and does give his all but his passing ability is non-existent and his positioning is often questionable. I do feel he is a player that is suited to a Top 4 club, as long as he isn’t partnered with a certain Scotsman, but I don’t feel he is the type of CDM we need to properly challenge for the Premier League trophy. A steady mid table finish for Fred sums his season up to a tee.
11) Scott Mctominay (49 Apps)
Splitting Fred and Scott Mctominay was one of the hardest decisions to make but sheerly on the fact he has had more notable moments, the Scot ranks one place higher than his midfield counterpart. Scott’s highlight of the season was his quick-fire double against fierce rivals Leeds as well as a winning header against Watford but take his goals away from him and he isn’t all that. Despite getting gametime galore, I feel Ole has been playing Scott out of position. Mctominay to me is more of a box-to-box midfielder that will put a crunching tackle in at one end before bombing forward to aid the attack at the other but as part of a double pivot, we don’t get to see that. Next season is a defining one for the Scotsman but don’t be surprised if he comes out the Euros shining like a freshly polished diamond.
10) Dean Henderson (26 Apps)
Like it or not, the goalkeeping situation has been the most talked issue at the club this season and it was always going to be when you have two top tier goalkeepers on your books. Dean Henderson has played ten games less than David De Gea which is a contributing factor into why he ranks lower than the Spaniard, but Deano has also played in games where we have played a back 6. It was hard to split the two but the mantle for the better keeper narrowly falls to David De Gea which is not fault of Dean Henderson who bar his few errors has done his job well.
9) David De Gea (36 Apps)
David has totalled 12 clean sheets this campaign before his paternity leave handed Dean Henderson the Premier League goalkeeping mantle. As previously stated, splitting the two shot stoppers was a near impossible job but De Gea nudges it for me. United have conceded a lot of goals this season but hardly any of them have really been the fault of De Gea but the fault of the incompetence he has in front of him. The De Gea go or stay debate will rage on during the summer months but as far as ranking goes, David beats Dean in the most important list of the season. Sorry Hendo.
8) Mason Greenwood (44 Apps)
No one has quite had a rollercoaster season as much as Mason Greenwood. The season started with him struggling for form and that issue got worse when he and Phil Foden broke England Covid restrictions causing him to be removed from the camp and punished in later squad announcements but towards the end of the season, Mason has broken through the hardship and has become a must in every United team selection. His rise in form has won himself a spot in Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad and whether he makes it to the Euros or not, you can’t take away the quality the youngster possesses and has shown this side of Christmas. The reason he is not higher is because of that first half of the season where he failed to show why he is lauded as one of the best strikers to grace Manchester.
7) Aaron Wan Bissaka (54 Apps)
Aaron Wan Bissaka has been Man United’s third most used player this season and has played almost every minute of every game which has been both a pro and a con. Towards the start of the season, AWB was being exposed with crosses that he wasn’t dealing with and whether that is coaching or himself is still up for debate but since Christmas, the Englishman has found a level of consistency and has proven to be the right man for Man United’s right back position. Attacking wise, AWB isn’t a big a threat as people want but defensively he is one of the best in the world and that imbalance can cause frustration but considering he has gotten no rest this year, he has been a very good player for Ole and United.
6) Edinson Cavani (39 Apps)
Edinson has got Man United fans around the world singing his song and has united fans in uncertain times at the club. No one can deny that Cavani was a panic buy at the end of the summer window and had a slow start with covid isolations and racism bans but by god the Uruguayan made up for lost time. Edinson first burst onto the Manchester United scene when he instigated the 3-2 comeback win over Southampton and since then has been netting goals left right and centre and from 35 yards out. The only reason that El Matador misses out on the Top 5 was again due to a slow start to the campaign but all that aside, Cavani has well and truly broken the number 7 curse that has haunted Man United for years. What a man.
5) Harry Maguire (52 Apps)
We all knew Harry Maguire was a good defender with a mistake or two in him but the last few games of the season showed exactly how important our captain is to the defence. His commanding and physical presence is often overlooked and while he is not rivalling a Virgil Van Dijk or Ruben Dias, is a comfortable Top 5 centre back in the Premier League. Again, Maguire does fall victim to a half and half season with his form pre-Christmas being that of nightmares but he more than made up for it after the festive period with monumental performances at the heart of the defence. There is still room for improvement but Harry Maguire has proven this campaign how good and crucial he is to this Man United side. Get well soon Captain.
4) Paul Pogba (42 Apps)
This may cause a stir but Paul Pogba finishes as the 4th best Man United player this season. At the beginning of the season Paul Pogba was his classic inconsistent self with some performances reaching 9/10 while others stooping to 3/10 and then that comment came out. Mino Raiola thought the day before a crucial UCL game was a suitable time to announce Paul Pogba wanted to leave United. After the loss in that game, many people turned on Paul including me but he won us back with his performances after that. Pogba gave us so many match winning moments and was arguably the reason we ended up in a short but sweet title race. Whether you like him or not, you can’t deny he has been a crucial player for United this season and without him, we would be significantly lower down the table. It was the best we have seen Pogba in a red shirt but now we sit through watching the rumour mill go round this summer.
3) Marcus Rashford (57 Apps)
Out of the 61 games Man United have played this season, Marcus Rashford has features in 57 of them which is crazy when you think he hasn’t been fully fit since Christmas maybe even before. The English hero has divided many opinions this season especially towards the latter stages of the campaign which culminated in perhaps his worst game in United red in the EL final however his number don’t lie. 21 goals and 15 assists is very impressive numbers for a player that most would say hasn’t had the best season but when we needed him he more or less provided. There isn’t anyone currently at the club that better embodies Manchester United Football Club than Marcus and he is loved by many. He has had doubters which just shows the standards he has set himself when 36 goal contributions in 57 games isn’t good enough for some.
2) Luke Shaw (47 Apps)
I was one of few Man United fans that kept faith in Luke Shaw but no one saw the monumental rise of the English left back. In terms of consistency and improvement, Luke Shaw has been the best player at the club this season and his defensive and attacking ability is unmatched by any in the league and maybe in the world. Before this season, Shaw was a million miles away from the England squad but now is a dead cert for the Euros. His quality has shown when he has been absent from the team which is why Telles has had such a slow start at United. Let’s hope the newly dubbed Shaw-berto Carlos keeps this level of performance through the Euros and into next season.
1) Bruno Fernandes (58 Apps)
When you are one of the odds-on favourites for Premier League Player of the Year, you can’t not get United’s player of the season. Our Portuguese Magnifico has again been world class this season and has put himself in the conversation as one of the best players in the world currently. 28 goals and 17 assists is unheard of for a midfielder and that becomes even more impressive when you think of the big games he has failed to impact. Bruno has slowed down a bit towards the end of the season which is only expected when you have played nearly every minute of the season but even his downturn in form can’t keep him off the top spot. Fernandes is easily United’s best player and if he can perfect his craft more consistently when it matters most then we could have a United legend on our hands.
Do you agree with this list? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more end of season content on the YouTube channel and the website.